Hospice thanks community for support
2018 - A year filled with challenges and opportunities
It is a well-known fact that Hospice has been shown to greatly improve the quality of life for patients and families near the end of life. Studies have consistently demonstrated that hospice is associated with reduction of symptoms of distress, improved outcomes for caregivers and high patient and family satisfaction. Despite evidence proving that continuous hospice use reduces the use of hospital-based services - including emergency department visits and intensive care unit stays - and the likelihood of death in the hospital, hospice services are still not paid for by government or the majority medical aids.
This fact, combined with new challenges such as the significant changes that are taking place in how medical related services are delivered and paid for in South Africa, as well as corporate downsizing, led to 2018 being one of our most difficult years since inception.
However, 2018 also presented us with opportunities and despite the severe financial constraints that we operated under this year we managed to maintain our high levels of care. In faith we have embarked on a project that will extend our current In-Patient-Unit's capacity from 8 to 14 beds. Four of the room are earmarked for the care of adolescents aged between 9 and 19 years old.
We have experienced major delays with the project but on the 4th of January 2019 the Parkhome panels (kindly donated by Grayston Travel) will be moved on-site. We are very excited and look forward to being able to assist more of our beloved patients in 2019. We are relying heavily on our loyal community to assist us with this project.
Furthermore, we have started a Centre for Palliative Learning that will not only provide a QCTO accredited caregiver course but provide the learners to obtain a nationally accredited qualification and the opportunity of future employment. This will also provide a very important source of income.
In an endeavour to boost our income we opened a second charity shop in the Stat Building, Fore Street, Alberton. Sadly, the income from our shop in the Alberton Mall decreased substantially due to the new SASSA pension pay-out system. We are hoping for a turn-around in the situation.
The most important issue is that we were able to assist hundreds of Alberton patients with pain and symptom control as well of end-of-life care during the past year.
I would like to thank my amazing team of angels who have worked so hard serving the Alberton community. A huge thank you to our wonderful volunteers who so selflessly give of their time…Time being the most valuable commodity in the world…
Thank you Dr Rodrigues and all the doctors in Alberton and elsewhere who supported and assisted us in caring for our patients. Thank you to the families for entrusting us with the care of your loved ones.
A huge thank you to the Alberton Record and Comaro Chronicle for helping us raise an awareness of our services!
Last but not least thank you to our community. I realise that it has been a very difficult year for all of us and yet you continued to support our fundraising events and shops. Without the help and generosity of this amazing community we would have become one of the national statistics of being a hospice that was forced to close down. We appreciate every single item you donated to us, every minute that you sacrificed supporting us and every single sent you donated to this very worthy cause.
So in my final communication to our community - Thank you. Remember your loved one, who has passed on, with an act of kindness. Be safe and treasure the most valuable element of your existence that you have been gifted with - time. Spend it wisely!
From all of us at Stepping Stone Hospice - Have a blessed Christmas and may 2019 be filled with many blessings!
Tersia Burger CEO Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services